RAPID/BulkTransmission/New Mexico/Aesthetic & Recreational

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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

New Mexico Bulk Transmission Aesthetic & Recreational Resource Assessment(17-NM)

Developers should be aware that the potential effects of transmission projects on visual resources has been a challenge in siting transmission facilities. Transmission line projects may cause visual contrast within the landscapes they cross due to their length, size and the regular geometric forms of the transmission towers. These projects may affect sensitive viewers (i.e., residents, recreationist, etc.) located along the right-of-way.

Analysis of impacts to visual resources as a result of a transmission line project may be required as part of a federal, state or local permitting process. For example, at the federal level, a project required to go through the NEPA process must evaluate impacts to visual resources. In addition, some public agencies have requirements or provide guidelines for evaluating and assessing impacts to visual resources for projects that cross their jurisdiction. For example, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) have developed methodologies for inventorying visual resources and assessing visual impacts on lands under their respective jurisdictions.

In New Mexico, impacts to visual/scenic resources may be evaluated and reviewed as part of the Location Permit process as noted above. No guidelines or methodologies for conducting or assessing potential visual/scenic impacts are outlined in the Location Permit application requirements, however, for projects crossing lands with developed methodologies, like the BLM or USFS, then those guidelines shall be adhered to when evaluating visual/scenic resources.

Developers should review local government resource management plans, comprehensive plans, regulations, etc. to identify any permit requirements as they relate to visual resources.

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

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